Sunday 18 February 2018

Mark Mardell and his admirers

Mark Mardell must feel blessed.

He's just about the only BBC reporter/presenter to be on the receiving end, week in and week out, of complimentary tweets concerning his impartiality as a reporter.

(Jeremy Bowen is another of these rare beasts).

I noticed this unusual trend a year or so ago and have been following it, and I've found a bit of a pattern. See if you can spot it too from this very representative sample:

"Got a lot of respect for you as a journalist" (from Marx Media
"I like @BBCMarkMardell  Intelligent.  Knows and understands Europe" (from David Randall #FBPE)
"BBC News on TV, radio & website is dead & buried. Main culprits: Radio 4 Today prog #r4today  BBC TV #bbcaq. However, give @BBCMarkMardell & BBC #r4 'The World This Weekend' a listen - Sunday at 1pm - Investigative balanced journalism inc. Brexit" (from BremainInSpain)
"Been catching up with the political programs I've missed, partly due to oversleeping. But switched on @BBCRadio4 in case Mark @BBCMarkMardell is presenting the Sunday edition of #wato. He is. So I'm listening to that now. #RespectGoodBroadcasters" (from Tom Delargy #StopToryBrexit #PCPEU)
‏"he's a class journo..." (from tudor lomas, anti-#brexshit citizen of nowhere)
"@BBCMarkMardell hon exception" (from Jenny Cooper #FBPE)

Perhaps not coincidentally, the criticism he gets on Twitter (and he does get some) overwhelmingly (indeed almost exclusively) comes from pro-Brexit people, and/or right-wing people. 

No 'complaints from both sides' for Mark Mardell then.

I suspect that the people quoted above will have broadly enjoyed Mark's report from a Labour gathering in Leeds today (starring Owen Jones, Angela Rayner, Jasmin Beckett and Aaron Bastani).

It started at an anti-Brexit protest, and Mark later pushed their cause with Aaron Bastani.

And the claims of bullying (being reported today, but not pushed far by Mark) were dismissed by his 'talking heads'. Everyone's happy, apparently (except about Brexit). A jolly lady said everyone in the hall was "jeering". She meant "cheering", but an ironic malapropism got in her way.

But after the Labour bit came and interview with former Portuguese Europe minister Bruno Maçães about the concept of 'Eurasia' and Mark introduced him as being "positive about Brexit" and someone who "sees an opportunity for Britain".

I wasn't expected that.

Curiously, however, Mr Maçães didn't say anything to that effect whatsoever. I was expecting to hear something positive about Brexit from him and it never came.

All we got, instead, was Mark and his strangely targeted questions.

It's the oddest interview I've heard in a while. It's as if Mr Maçães was talking about what he wanted to talk about and Mark Mardell was pushing an agenda at a complete tangent to what Mr Maçães was actually saying.

We got Mark talking about "Britain and Europe", and suggesting that the Chinese want to impose a European Court of Justice-style overseeing body and that we could end up in a worse-than-the-ECJ situation, and that talk of 'Eurasia' is Putin-like talk....and Bruno Maçães completley failing to pick up on Mark's agenda.

Mark Mardell was talking Brexit, Bruno Maçães wasn't.

Please listen to it for yourselves though. Maybe I'm missing something.

1 comment:

  1. It's easy to confuse cheering and jeering. I often find when the QT audience cheer, I jeer.


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